10/05/2021

2021/05/10#p1
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This week (10th - 16th May) is Mental Health Awareness week in the UK and the theme is nature.

It's good that the conversation about mental health has taken the position it needs and deserves over the past year but it's disappointing that it has taken a global pandemic to truly make that happen.

We are approaching the next phase of restrictions being eased in England and, as we approach normality, I fear that the focus on mental health will be reduced as though being able to go to the pub means that you're okay again. That's not how it works.

This past year has caused more people to experience issues and given a lot more still an insight into the problems faced by those who suffer from mental health problems. I can only hope that this insight changes things on a long term basis.

There should now be no reason for any kind of stigma attached to any mental health issues after what everyone has been living through (not that there should have been anyway) so there is no excuse for the conversation to recede and be a taboo subject again. We cannot afford for short-termism with people thinking that once the pandemic has passed it's no longer something they need to worry about.

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2021/05/10#p2
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After two years out of the industry my wife has decided to return to her passion around food. She has been a food writer and reviewer with a focus on natural products for a number of years. She took some time out because of various issues, including health, but has decided to get back in the game and it's as though she never left.

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2021/05/10#p3
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Chris suggested using the Hemingway App to help edit but, after giving it a spin today, I find it overly fussy compared to Grammarly. That's not to be too forgiving to the latter. The problem with these systems is they are following strict rules with little or no flexibility for style or personality.

I know I have my faults, but some of the corrections offered seem over-zealous. I guess that's why it's hard to properly edit your own stuff and why human editors are still in demand.

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Alan Ralph says:Reply to Alan Ralph

I've used both Hemingway and Grammarly, they're useful in pointing out some non-obvious things in your writing, but I take their advice with a healthy pinch of salt. I'm currently taking courses with the Chartered Institute of Editors & Proofreaders (CIEP) to get formally qualified as a copyeditor, and as I'm discovering a lot depends on the type of material being edited, the house style (if any) and personal preference. In many cases, there is no 'correct' way to write something, but there are plenty of common style rules that even I wasn't aware of before!

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Chris Lovie-Tyler replied:

+1 to everything Alan has said, especially the bit about taking any grammar checker's suggestions with a grain of salt. :)

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Colin Walker replied:

How's the study going, Alan? It sounds interesting. I'm being, shall we say, selective with what I take from Grammarly but by no means changing everything it suggests. Other than the basics, using the free tier I only get to see where it considers there to be issues and not what those issues are but one can normally guess. There are still numerous suggestions left when I'm done but as long as I get a reasonable score, and retain the personality of the section, I'm happy.

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collin says:Reply to collin

@colinwalker I wish Grammarly were better, but it's also the best I've found for what it does. If it were even a basic Mac app that had some scripting or ability to open a document from another app and edit, it would be 100% more pleasurable to use than what they have.

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Colin Walker replied:

An app would be very useful but I'm okay with the web interface. Grammarly definitely seems to fit my style more than others I've tried but I am still selective in what suggestions I accept.

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jamesshelley says:Reply to jamesshelley

@colinwalker I landed on ProWritingAid several years ago. I love it. Have you compared it yet? (It's not perfect, of course. But it's pretty smart, highly customizable.)

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Colin Walker replied:

Thanks James, I wasn't aware of that one. I'll check it out.

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jamesshelley says:Reply to jamesshelley

@colinwalker Curious to hear what you think!

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog